Centerpiece

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It’s your IRA, so you’ll use the funds in your account however you like ... right? Wrong. The tax law imposes a number of restrictions on IRA owners. You can’t simply do whatever you want. Failing to observe these rules can turn into an unmitigated tax disaster.
Human resources departments with small budgets can turn to a growing variety of free and low-cost mobile and web-based applications to increase efficiency and cut costs. The apps are available in several areas of HR, including hiring, benefits, attendance and performance reviews.
Chicago-based Groupon has spawned an industry of deeply discounted coupons. If its model catches your business's fancy, try it, with precautions. Make sure you’re solid on Yelp. If you’re afraid of a customer deluge, cap the number of coupons. And never take your eye off quality.

Good ideas aren’t hard to find. As long as you’ve got smart and creative people, there should be plenty of ideas. What’s hard is follow-through. Two examples: making the Rolling Stones album “Sticky Fingers” and Mick Jagger writing “Brown Sugar.”

For everything else that contributes to employee satisfaction, most people wouldn’t do their jobs free. Compensation is a critical tenet of the employment contract. If you're committed to attracting and retaining excellent employees, you had better be prepared to answer these questions about your compensation practices.
Many small and large businesses have used ­creative and engaging ways to connect with their clients and customers through Twitter. Check out these three common ways to use Twitter to engage customers and increase your branding.
Practice. That’s the best way to get comfortable with speaking in front of others. Although the idea of pub­­lic speaking may sound ter­­ri­­fy­­ing, your confidence will get a major boost from stepping out of your comfort zone and into the spot­­light.
Make faster work of plucking out the most critical messages queuing up in your Outlook inbox. The simple trick is to make messages appear differently, de­­pending on who they’re from or whom they’re sent to. It’s called conditional formatting.
A growing body of research confirms what you may have suspected: Looks matter, especially when it comes to making a first impression on others. Surprisingly, though, it’s also the way people draw conclusions about our ability to do a job.
The average pay raise will be modest this year—around 3%—compared to about 4% from 2005 to 2008, just before the economy tanked. Here are a dozen pay trends to consider as your organization weighs how to structure compensation in an age of diminished expectations.
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